Chris Sabo (born January 19, 1962, in Detroit, Michigan) is a former third baseman in Major League Baseball who played for the Cincinnati Reds (1988-93, 1996), Baltimore Orioles (1994), Chicago White Sox (1995) and St. Louis Cardinals (1995). At 6'0" and 180 lb (82 kg), he batted and threw right handed.
He was originally drafted by the Montreal Expos in 1980 but did not sign, opting to attend the University of Michigan. He was selected by the Cincinnati Reds in the 2nd round of the 1983 amateur draft.
Sabo was a relative unknown, having toiled in the minor leagues for several seasons. But in 1988, Buddy Bell would start the season on the disabled list. Sabo stepped in and won the National League Rookie of the Year Award with a .271 average and 46 steals.
After a forgettable 1989 campaign, Sabo returned to help lead the Reds to a World Series Championship. He had his most productive season in 1991, posting career-highs in batting average (.301), homeruns (26), RBI (88), hits (175) and games played (153).
Sabo made the National League All-Star team in 1988, 1990 and 1991.
After injuries limited his play in 1992, his production dropped of drastically. Sabo never again hit above .260 nor would have more than 10 steals in a season.
Baltimore signed him in 1994 where he endured another injury-plagued season and then split 1995 between Chicago and St. Louis.
His final season was in Cincinnati in 1996. His homecoming did not go as well as he had hoped. In July of that season, Sabo shattered his bat which was filled with cork. As a result of the incident, Sabo received a seven-game suspension.
Sabo maintains that he had never corked a bat in his life. He claimed that the bat in question belonged to another player (whom he would not name). He argued that his performance that season (3HR in 52 games) was hardly "an endorsement of the cork industry".
In a nine-season career, Sabo was a .268 hitter with 116 home runs and 426 RBI in 911 games.
Reds Manager Pete Rose gave Sabo the nickname 'Spuds' during his rookie season in 1988, citing a resemblance to a bull terrier character in Bud Light commercials named Spuds MacKenzie. Sabo was recognizable by his wraparound protective eyeglasses.